John Legere denies claims that T-Mobile is throttling heavy data users on the Unlimited 4G LTE data plan

A few days ago, multiple T-Mobile subscribers on the Unlimited 4G LTE plan started complaining on Reddit about what they perceived to be data throttling. When asked about the situation during yesterday's earnings call live stream, T-Mobile CEO John Legere denied such allegations, and promised to look into the problems that the respective customers seem to be facing.

Over at the Reddit thread, heavy users complained that their data transfer speeds started to go down once they've racked in about 20GB in data traffic, which goes against the company's open claim that it does not limit data transfer speeds of its unlimited LTE subscribers.

In a somewhat confusing development, alleged T-Mobile employees joined the Reddit thread and argued that while the network is not actually throttling data speeds in the way that speeds automatically go down once users get past a certain number of GBs, users get prioritized based on their traffic. These alleged employees claimed that, in high-populated areas where many T-Mobile subscribers share a single tower, users are prioritized based on their data usage for the corresponding month. In short, the Reddit commenters said that when the network is congested, the carrier puts aside more bandwidth for customers with low data usage during the month.

John Legere promised to look into the problem and provide a full explanation for the situation. You can hear his comment by following the T-Mobile source link below.

source: Reddit, T-Mobile via TmoNews



1. donphone

Posts: 64; Member since: Oct 20, 2013

I've had my suspicions for a while now... this should be interesting.

20. Chodeesius813

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 30, 2015

Ive had the same issues here but heres my 2 cents and my opinion in the matter. Coming from Sprint the difference is absolutely night and day. As true to what tmo claims ive done the test drive and did my homework before jumping in to tmo. 1st i live in CA in and around cerritos/artesia area in a somewhat affluent neighborhood. After switching around sept/oct of 2014 i have nothing but high praise to give to tmo. But this is where the rubber meets the road, in the span of last 4-6 months ive been having issues with service. Especially during peak hours from 4pm-9pm daily and weekends around the cerritos mall speedtest speeds average 0.5-2.9 megs (download). Uploads isnt an issue but this is where over saturation and congestion is an issue. To me this is where towers needs to be converted 20x20 wideband lte. And this issue began after the refarming and conversion of metro pcs towers to lte towers and integrating metro subs to tmo cell towers. Its actually after this took place that began the constant degrade of slow down and the congestion on the network. I have to admit im a power user and use my unlim mobile data to the fullest. Mainly heavy streaming from my Netflix and recent sling Tv subscription that i mainly consume 10-15 gigs per month. Ive made a few calls to cust care and actually asked if they were throttling me and got no for an answer. I have the lg g3 as my daily driver and one of the few things that helped alleviate the issue is manually switch my Lte to Hspa, and noticed a significant change. But i digress. Mr Legere if you ever even glance at this soft tirade im still a firm supporter of the uncarrier revolution. Hopefully there will be a divide between postpay subs (us tmo post subs) and metro subs, keep them on the high band spectrum LTE and let us high end users on the low band spectrum to us exclusively. IMO together with high congestion and merging of the 2 carriers into one aggregate bands is when the trouble began. And remember phonearena subscribers this is just an opinion and i welcome any decent comments and rebuttals.

24. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Sounds to me like this network prioritization isn't just for low usage customers, but also new customers. They'll make sure they have a good initial experience so they dont jump ship within the return period.

2. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

So have I. Once my data usage hit about 20GB roughly, there was a very noticeable drop in speeds. It took a full 2 minutes to download Hulu Plus from the Play Store.

18. mrej201

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

What if it was Google server then one that was slow

3. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I know they are suppose to be truly unlimited, but don't abuse the system people. To clarify, my statement is for those who use around 60+ GB. 20GB in today's age is not a heavy user.

7. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Because of some of these people, it is why we are in the situation we are in. Having said that, I don't expect them, T-Mobile, to be or react any different. Moreover, just wait until they reach their subscriber goal, everything is going to go right up.

13. g2a5b0e unregistered

"20GB in today's age is not a heavy user." By whose standards? The average smartphone user in the U.S. uses less than 3GB a month. Perhaps in the world of people who frequent tech websites, 20GB is not heavy usage, but I assure you that it is in the real world. I've averaged about 10GB a month over the last few months & most people I talk to are not even sure how that's possible.

14. andynaija

Posts: 1261; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

20GB IS a heavy user! How can somebody use 20GB in a month?, are they streaming YouTube and Netflix 24/7? I have a 4GB LTE plan and sometimes I barely go over half of it and a lot of the time I'm on Wi-Fi anyways.

17. mickeygosselin

Posts: 47; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

I think you just answered your own question there

19. Meeekr

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 01, 2014

24/7? If you stream 720p for only a half hour each day, that can easily get you over 20GB for the month. Netflix has a Playback Setting that allows you to always stream at High quality (3GB per hour). The Auto setting adjusts per screen, but not sure how well that works... probably uses a lot less data. Someone not on Wi-Fi who watches a show during lunch is not a heavy user in my opinion.

22. fyah_king unregistered

WiFi is slow compare to my mobile speed.

4. mrej201

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

I use about 50gb a month.. I hardly notice any speed down sometime is the peak hr I notice slow speed

5. young0ne

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

Really I thinks this is fair as far as making sure every one gets decent speed. Even if you do have unlimited lte data everyone should be treated equally.why should a tiered data suffer low speeds when they only have 500mb, 1GB, 2.5 or 4.5GB lte data and when the run out they go to 3g or 2g data speeds which ever one. You have unlimited lte enjoy it stop complaining.

6. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

What the hell are you guys doing that uses 20 GB....

8. AceofZeroz

Posts: 16; Member since: Apr 19, 2015

Dat porn...

11. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

aloooooot of porn tho unless 4k

10. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

I know right! Do these people not have wi-fi? I pull that much combined, cellular and wi-fi, but not just cellular.

21. fyah_king unregistered

Hmmm, Netflix, and youtube for about 90gb a month.

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Well, I'm one of those (ab)users of their unlimited high-speed plan, and I still pull 20-25Mb/s down during the day and 30+ at night, so I know they're not throttling here in Tucson, anyway.

12. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

no throttling here in Pasadena California

15. joens16

Posts: 9; Member since: May 07, 2013

I stream soccer games almost every day at work and i've had my suspicions. Streams start to buffer more frequently after ive used alot of data. tsk tsk

16. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

I knew it, once I get to like 40gb my speed crawls to less than 1mbps and speeds up again like 5 hours later.

23. youlookfoolish

Posts: 193; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

No one is able to conceive that T-Mobile honestly just has a terrible network? Fascinating. It's amusing that a possibly negative post about magenta was not posted by Alan. He post about T-Mobile so much otherwise.

25. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Speaking of which, there are reports that T-mobile has officially surpassed Sprint. I wonder why PA hasn't reported that yet.

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